Women's teams will be returning to FIFA 21 on both PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, EA confirmed during a recent media event. That means the World Cup winning U.S. Women's National Team [USWNT] will once again be playable in this year's version of FIFA.
EA's announcement counts as a win for soccer fans who may have otherwise worried that women's teams wouldn't make the cut on PlayStation 5. EA has done its part to promote women's soccer in recent years—including releasing a free Women's World Cup add-on for FIFA 19—but next-gen is rarely a sure bet. Plenty of popular features have gotten lost in the transition in the past.
What's more, implementing women's teams isn't as straightforward as it might seem. When women's teams were introduced in FIFA 16, EA pointed out that they had unique in-game animations, models, and running motions.
With annualized sports games being a constant battle for resources, it wouldn't have been surprising if FIFA had surreptitously decided to drop women's teams in the move to PS5 and Xbox Series X. But EA has remained true to the commitment it made to women's soccer in five years ago, even if there's still plenty of room for improvement.
On top of confirming that women's teams will be returning in FIFA 21, EA also talked about several new gameplay features in this year's version, including more agile dribbling and creative runs. EA also confirmed that it will be doing something about all those toxic celebrations, which is a relief.
FIFA has consistently been EA's best-performing sports sim, and along with Madden, will be leading the company's next-gen sports lineup when the PS5 and Xbox Series X launch later this year. It's nice to know that Megan Rapinoe figures to be right there alongside Messi and Mbappe when it does. FIFA 21 launches October 9 on PS4, PC, and Xbox One, with next-gen release dates currently to be determined. You can read our interview with FIFA 21's producer right here.